The VFW Post 4210 baseball team from the Forest Lake area is looking for a top-five bye game as post-season play approaches, with Blaine already having clinched the division.
The squad, which is 15-6 overall, traveled to St. Cloud over the weekend to take part in a 16-team tournament.
Forest Lake went 2-2, starting the road trip with a resounding 15-5 win over Duluth East. Jake Ashworth led the 17-hit offense by going 3-3, missing out on only a triple to complete the cycle. His home run was his first of the summer.
Matt Wallner went 4-4, with three doubles, and earned the victory on the mound. Tyler Ross, Cody Huset and Joe Rydel also contributed multi-hit games for Post 4210.
Post 4210 struggled defensively in the next game against North St. Paul, recording seven errors to give the Polars seven unearned runs in a 9-6 loss.
Forest Lake pulled out a 10-inning win when facing St. Cloud Cathedral, led by pitcher Brandon Rogers, who threw a complete game for the victory.
Head coach Kale Henry said the situation looked grim in the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Polars had bases loaded with no outs. But Rogers took over, inducing two ground balls for force-outs at home and recording a strikeout for the final out.
With the score of 3-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Wallner and Ross drew walks and advanced on a wild pitch to third and second base, respectively, with one out. After a Post 4210 strikeout, Jake Foss delivered a solid single, scoring Wallner and giving Forest Lake the lead. Rogers shut down the middle of the Cathedral order in the bottom of the 10th inning to advance Forest Lake in the tournament.
But the quest would end there for Post 4210, as the team fell short by one run for a 5-4 loss to St. Anthony, despite a three-run rally in the top of the seventh inning.
Forest Lake faced North Branch in a double-header at home at Schumacher Field on Tuesday night, and is set to host St. Francis Thursday, July 18, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Field No. 5 at Fenway Athletic Complex.
If Post 4210 earns a bye in the first round of Seventh District play, they begin the tournament on Monday, July 22. If not, Forest Lake plays this Sunday, July 21. Times are to be determined.
“I think we’ve had a very good season so far,” Henry said. “We’ve pitched very well and have good defense, so we’re hoping for that first-round bye.”